The Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton










The Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton (hereinafter “the Diocese”) is authorized to encourage donors to make both outright and deferred gifts. The types of deferred gifts to be offered include bequests, gift annuities, gifts of residual interests, charitable remainder trusts, gifts of life insurance policies and proceeds, and such other gift arrangements as the Executive Council (hereinafter “the Council”) may from time to time approve. All programmes, solicitation plans, and activities shall be subject to the oversight of the Council or as delegated by the Council to the Stewardship and Financial Development Committee.




1.   The policy of the Diocese is to inform, serve, guide or otherwise assist donors who wish to support a parish’s or the Diocese’s activities, but never under any circumstances to pressure or unduly persuade.


2.   Persons acting on behalf of the Diocese shall in all cases encourage the donor to discuss the proposed gift with independent legal and/or tax advisors of the donor’s choice so as to ensure that the donor receives a full and accurate explanation of all aspects of the proposed charitable gift.


3.   The Planned Giving Officer is authorized to negotiate planned gift agreements with prospective donors, following programme guidelines approved by the Council.


4.   All planned giving agreements requiring execution by the Diocese shall first be reviewed and approved as to form by the Diocese’s legal counsel. Where substantially the same agreement is used repeatedly, only the prototype needs to be approved.


5.   The following planned gifts must be reviewed and approved by the Administration and Finance Committee. Before acceptance, relevant information about the gift shall be ascertained, including a copy of any appraisal secured by the donor. The Diocese also reserves the right to secure its own appraisal.


A.  Outright gifts of real estate, shares in privately–owned companies, tangible personal property, partnership interests, and other property interests not readily negotiable.

B.  Residual interest gifts.

C.  Charitable remainder trusts.


6.   Outright gifts of cash, publicly–traded securities, life insurance, and gift annuities do not require approval by the Administration and Finance Committee. Any gift, however, may be referred to the Administration and Finance Committee if subject to possibly unacceptable restrictions.


7.   The Diocese will, through General Synod, issue gift annuities pursuant to an agreement stating the amount and frequency of annuity payments. General Synod shall maintain sufficient reserves to cover its obligation to make annuity payments.


8.   The Diocese will serve as trustee of charitable remainder trusts at the request of the donor. If they prefer, donors may also select a trust institution, or other qualified trustee, to manage the trust.


9.   The following guidelines are established to assure that planned gifts accepted by the Diocese will be cost effective.




1.   Outright Gifts


A.   Description

An outright gift refers to a contribution of cash or property in which the donor retains no interest and which can be used currently by the Diocese. Securing outright gifts is the Diocese’s highest priority, and donors who are able to make outright gifts will be encouraged to do so.

B.   Guidelines

1.     The Diocese will accept an outright gift of any amount, though gifts to establish a named endowment must meet the minimum funding requirements set by the Council.

2.     The Diocese welcomes outright gifts of property as well as cash, but all property other than publicly–traded securities and life insurance policies must be approved by the Adminstration and Finance Committee before they can be received.

3.   A donor may complete a gift in a single transaction or make a pledge to be paid over whatever period of time is mutually acceptable to the donor and the Diocese.


2.    The Gift Annuity


A.   Description

The gift annuity is a contractual arrangement whereby a donor transfers assets to the General Synod on behalf of the Diocese in exchange for fixed, guaranteed payments for the life of the annuitant(s) or for a term of years. Determination of the gift receipt and taxation of annuity payments will be in accordance with Interpretation Bulletin IT-111R2 issued by Canada Revenue Agency.


B.  Guidelines


1.   The minimum amount General Synod will accept for a gift annuity is $10,000.


2.   The gift annuity rates offered by General Synod shall not exceed those recommended by the Canadian Association on Charitable Gifts for self–insured gift annuities.


3.   Subject to the consent of the Diocese, the donors may designate the purpose for which the gift annuity residuum is used. The “residuum” refers to the amount of the original contribution retained by the Diocese after satisfying all annuity payment obligations.


3.   Gift of a Residual Interest


A.  Description


A gift of a residual interest refers to an arrangement (ordinarily in the form of a trust) where property is irrevocably committed to the Diocese, but the donor retains use of the property for life or a term of years. For example, the donor might give a residual interest in a residence and continue to live in it or in a painting and retain possession of it. The donor is entitled to a gift receipt from the Diocese for the present value of the residual interest.


B.  Guidelines


1.     The donor shall continue to be responsible for real estate taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance after transferring title to the property unless the Diocese, upon prior approval of the Administration and Finance Committee, agrees to assume responsibility for any portion of these items. The terms of the gift and responsibilities for expenses shall be specified in a deed of gift executed by the donor(s) and the Diocese.


2.     The Diocese reserves the right to inspect the property from time to time to assure that its interest is properly safeguarded.


4.   Charitable Remainder Trusts


A.  Description


The charitable remainder trust is a form of a residual interest gift. The donor (“settler”) transfers property to a trustee who holds and manages it. If the property is income-producing, the net income will be paid to the donor and/or other named beneficiary. When the trust terminates (either at the death of the beneficiary(ies) or after a term of years), the trust remainder is distributed to the Diocese. If the trust is irrevocable, the donor is entitled to a gift receipt for the present value of the residual interest.


B.  Guidelines


1.   A charitable remainder trust may be funded with cash, securities or real estate. If real estate is to be contributed and the Diocese is the trustee, the real estate shall first be subject to a thorough review as described in the guideline pertaining to real estate (#6 below).


2.   Where the Diocese is trustee, it is recommended that the minimum trust size be $50,000 and that beneficiaries be at least 50 years of age. The Administration and Finance Committee, however, has discretion to make an exception to these recommendations in special circumstances.


3.   If the donor selects an outside trustee, the trust may be funded with any property of any value that is acceptable to the trustee.


4.   The trust agreement shall be either drafted by or reviewed by the donor’s own legal counsel. The Diocese may make prototype agreements available to the donor’s legal advisor, but shall execute no agreement until that person has determined that the trust agreement is in the proper form and that the gift is appropriate for the donor’s situation.


5.   Life Insurance


A.  Description


There are various methods by which a life insurance policy may be contributed to the Diocese. A donor may:

1.   Assign irrevocably a paid–up policy to the Diocese;

2.   Assign irrevocably a life insurance policy on which premiums remain to be paid; or

3.   Name the Diocese as a primary or successor beneficiary of the proceeds.


When ownership is irrevocably assigned to the Diocese, the donor is entitled to a gift receipt for the net cash surrender value (if any) and for any premiums subsequently paid.


B.  Guidelines


Any of these types of life insurance gifts are acceptable to the Diocese. For poliies on which premiums remain to be paid, the Diocese will pay the premiums upon receipt from the donor of a contribution for that purpose.


6.   Gifts of Real Estate


A.  Description


Gifts of real estate may be made in various ways: outright, residual interest in the property, or to fund a charitable remainder trust. The following guidelines pertain to gifts of real estate in general. Where real estate is transferred to a charitable remainder trust, additional requirements of the trustee must be met.


B.  Guidelines


1.   The donor shall secure a qualified appraisal of the property.


2.   Unless the Diocese has reason to believe this appraisal does not reflect the property’s true value, a gift receipt will be issued for the appraised value (or present value of the residual interest computed on the appraised value in the case of residual interest gifts). However, the Diocese reserves the right to secure its own appraisal and issue a gift receipt based on it.


3.   The Diocese shall determine if the donor has clear title to the property.


4.   The Diocese shall review other factors, including zoning restrictions, marketability, current use and cash flow, to ascertain that acceptance of the gift would be in the best interests of the Diocese.


5.   The Diocese shall ordinarily conduct an environmental assessment, which may include an environmental audit, and accept the property only if (a) it contains no toxic substances, or (b) they are removed or other remedies taken assuring that the Diocese assumes no liability whatsoever.


7.   Gifts of Shares in Privately–Owned Companies and Other Business Interests


A.  Description


Donors may make gifts of privately–owned shares and partnership interests. These can be accepted by the Diocese so long as the Diocese assumes no liability in receiving them and would be subject to no penalties.


B.  Guidelines


1.   To be considered for acceptance, partnership interests must not subject the Diocese to cash calls or other liability and must not have adverse tax consequences to the Diocese.


2.   Privately–owned shares may be accepted if they will not subject the Diocese to penalties and can likely be sold in the future to the corporation, other stockholders, or to others interested in acquiring the corporation.


8.   Bequests


A.  Description


Bequests have historically been the most important kind of deferred gift, and they have contributed significantly to the building of institutional endowments. The encouragement of bequests will be one of the highest priorities of the Diocese.


B.  Guidelines


Sample bequest language for restricted and unrestricted gifts, including endowments, will be made available to donors and their lawyers to ensure that the bequest is properly designated. Donors will also be invited to provide information about their bequest provision and, if they are willing, to send a copy of that section of their will naming the Diocese.


During the probate of estates containing a bequest to the Diocese and during the post–death administration of revocable trusts containing dispositive provisions benefiting the Diocese, the Planned Giving Officer or Executive Officer, in consultation with the Diocese’s legal counsel, shall represent the Diocese in all dealings with the lawyer and executor of the estate.


9.    Amendments


These Policies and Guidelines may be amended at any time by a majority vote of the Council.